The authors studied four patients with posterior brawny scleritis. Two underwent enucleation for suspected melanoma, and in the other two, the correct diagnosis was made and effective therapy begun. Of seven other eyes with brawny scleritis from other sources, five were enucleated after diagnosis of choroidal melanoma and one for suspected intraocular tumor. This experience and other previous reports indicate the high incidence of diagnostic confusion regarding brawny scleritis. The authors therefore emphasized clinical symptoms and signs of brawny scleritis: inflammation, tenderness or pain of the globe, history of collagen vascular disease, proptosis, bilaterality, and retinal and choroidal detachment. A preserved normal choroidal vascular pattern over an elevated subretinal mass may be indicative of posterior brawny scleritis. Scleral biopsy is useful for tissue diagnosis. Radioactive phosphorus uptake tests and ultrasonography may erroneously indicate choroidal melanoma and lead to enucleation of a potentially salvageable globe.
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